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WSBI's Haasis: Unleash power of local banks to boost EU economic growth

WSBI's Haasis: Unleash power of local banks to boost EU economic growth


​​​​​​​​​​​​Says EU regulators should look to U.S. Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act

>> Learn more about proportionality

BRUSSELS, 25 May 2018 – WSBI President Heinrich Haasis today urged policymakers in the European Union to take inspiration from the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act that was signed into law yesterday by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our U.S. member, the Independent Community Bankers of America, U.S. policymakers have acknowledged that local banks have suffered disproportionately from regulation that was put in place after the financial crisis," Haasis said. “It is neither fair nor economically efficient that local banks – who did not cause the crisis in the first place – pay a disproportionate price to stay in business."

Haasis added that savings banks and retail banks are the financial institutions that cater to the needs of households, SMEs and local authorities in all of Europe's regions. By liberating these institutions from excessive bureaucracy, he noted, households and small- and medium-sized businesses in Europe will receive the financing they need to bring their projects to life, to make the European economy grow.

Haasis concluded: “A one-size-fits-all approach to regulation does not take into account the extraordinary diversity of Europe's financial and economic fabric. A proportionate approach to regulation is the only way forward."​


For more information, please contact:

​Dirk Smet, WSBI on +32 2 211 11 90 or at

James Pieper, WSBI on +32 2 11 92 or at



Notes to editor:


About the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI)

WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $15 trillion and serving some 1.3 billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2016). WSBI focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth, and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalization that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. 

About the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)

The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation's voice for nearly 5700 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interest of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act:

  • simplifies community bank capital requirements,

  • exempts most community banks from the Volcker Rule,

  • provides relief for larger community banks, including higher asset thresholds for systemically important financial institution designations, and easing of stress testing and formal risk committee requirements.

Proportionality; Regulation